Health at Risk, To Whom It May Concern

The provision of health care services is an important proviso in every society and the nation at large. It is against this background that every government in an attempt to safeguard the life of its citizenry ensures that health care services are readily available. What would become of a society or nation with a population of ill health? What becomes of the productive manpower?

There are dire consequences for a nation that relegates healthcare delivery to the background. Productivity is not only affected but such a society or nation stands a greater probability of extinction since mortality rate will increase astronomically.

The people of Afram Plains [an agrarian community] have not been left out of the share of this national cake-health care services. There are hospitals, clinics and CHPS compounds in almost every major town in this part of the countryside.

But what has become of the culture of healthcare delivery by healthcare professionals in these hospitals, clinics and CHPS compounds in Afram Plains? I have been propelled to write this article when I visited the Presbyterian health centre at Tease, the district capital of Afram Plains south constituency.

The fact is incontrovertible and I will not mince with words-the healthcare delivery system at Tease Presbyterian Health Centre is next to nothing, and nothing good to write home about. This is a health centre where human dignity has been rendered as absolute trash. Disrespect for clients has climbed onto a legendary status. I do not intend to, by this article mention any names but want to clearly state my position on the actions and inactions of healthcare professionals at this healthcare centre.

Oh but let me first ask “is healthcare delivery a right or privilege” Well your guess may be as good as mine. Don’t these healthcare workers know that “a sound mind lives in a healthy body”?

Let me quickly give you a routine about the wack health delivery system here. This is a true account of what I witnessed when I visited the healthcare centre.

“A parent brings in her sick child at about 10:06 am, pulse and temperature is checked within a matter of five minutes. The sick child is then taken to the lab for test. The laboratory technician after picking the blood sample leaves his post/room [with the lab office opened] only to return after an hour and thirty minutes to attend to a now queuing clients who have gone through the initial stages of pulse and temperature checks. [ Had the microscope been stolen after his return what would be his story to tell?] He then hands the lab report to the parent of the sick child thirty minutes after his return. This sick child is then taken to the consulting room to see the one and only supposed Doctor who reported to work at about 10:30 am. They spend about 10 minutes in the consulting room after which drugs were prescribed to be taken at the dispensary for a fee. At the dispensary again, another drama unfolds. The dispensary attendants are on break enjoying their meals to the full glare of clients. They therefore ask the parent of the sick child to wait patiently while they do justice to their food. And they spent well over 40 minutes on their meal.”

All these dramatic scenes are showcased at this health centre without any one to supervise what goes in and out of this health centre. Oh perhaps it’s for the government and we all know what government workers do at their places of work. I bet you can’t pretend you knoweth not.

Clearly give a picturesque view of the incident. Now assuming without admitting that this sick child is in an emergency and needs urgent medical treatment what would have become of the situation? For the child to die and cry foul afterwards. In fact, the welfare of clients is not at the heart of these so called health professionals. Another mind boggling drama I witnessed was how these officials were moving to and fro from one office to the other and discussing issues best known to them whilst clients were suffering in long queues in wait of treatment.

While I wouldn’t like to be seen as overly critical, it is equally important that some of these healthcare workers are cautioned with immediate effect to desist from their “I don’t care” attitude displayed at their place of work. The insatiable appetite by health care workers to humiliate and embarrass clients is something way out of health care practice.

It beats my wildest imagination why people dressed in white, green and white, brown etc. mandated to provided health care delivery to the people treat clients as if they are doing them a great service. Aren’t they paid for services they render?

The earlier an effortful attempt is geared towards redeeming the image of this healthcare centre, the better it would be for all of us. It has attracted a bad name for itself for far too long.

Save Life!

I was out of work, doing nothing but passing time when I came across an advertisement where you could apply as a volunteer in Blood Donation camp. Long back when I was in college I tried to donate blood but due to underweight I was not able to and after that it never occurred me to donate again so, the ad caught my attention. I dialed in the numbers and volunteered for it. Since, I was not working I also volunteered to give a hand for setting up the camp also.

It was fun volunteering for it, this blood donation camp sets up quarterly so, once in four months I used to go out meet new and old donors, it was a sort of picnic for me till one day a teenage girl came up to in the camp and asked “Hi, how are you?”

“I am okay, thanks, how are you? Are you here for the blood donation, do you have an appointment?” I replied.

“I would love to but I have a question?”

“Yes sure, happy to help, what is it?” I said.

“Umm, I am suffering from hemolytic anemia, so just wanted to know if there is an arrangement in the camp for Plasma donors?”

To be frank I could not even catch what was she suffering from but I was sure I heard Anemia, though being a layman in biology at least I knew Anemia had to do something with deficiency of blood or hemoglobin in a person. Why the hell she wanted to donate blood if she is anemic and what the hell was plasma donation! I revised all my biology classes in a gist just not to make a fool of myself there but still said

“I am sorry, I did not get your question, you are suffering from what?”

“I am suffering from Hemolytic anemia, in my condition my bone marrow is unable to produce the red blood cells in the body fast enough to meet my body needs. It is a disorder where the red blood cells are destroyed before their normal life span and since, RBCs are responsible for carrying oxygen and when I do not have enough RBCs in my blood it can be fatal”

“Oh okay… I am sorry, but clearly you need blood in your body then why do you want to make a donation?” I was so confused.

She smiled and replied “I just want to donate the Plasma. You know, it is because of people like you I am able to stand here, I laugh, I cry, I walk, I talk and everything thing I do is a gift from people like you all who donate blood. In every 120 days I undergo blood transfusion where blood is given to me through intravenous(IV) line in one of my blood vessels. I am so grateful for all of you to be alive and I also want to participate in Saving Lives. I want to donate plasma so that if there is someone like me who needs transfusion of Plasma I can repay to this society for giving me so many new lives.”

I was speechless, I had never taken Blood donation seriously, for me it was just a day of fun, meeting people, laughing with others eating free ice cream. For a moment I felt ashamed of myself for not donating blood for years. I was guilty for the number of lives lost due to lack of blood in the blood bank and here I was standing before a person who is sick and still willing to help others in need.

What Is Sarsaparilla? Benefits As Well As Drawbacks!

In this article I’m going to talk about what is sarsaparilla and share the pros and cons to it.

You possibly have seen sarsaparilla in a supplement, a tea drink and wondered what it does.

Sarsaparilla is a plant that is native to South America and the Caribbean. It really started to get known in the 1500’s for treating syphilis. Syphilis is a bacterial infection that is commonly spread through sex. It was also used to treat leprosy, which is a nasty skin disorder that caused a person to really be shunned by others.

Let’s talk about the actual benefits, where there is proof of it working. When it comes to alternative medicine sometimes there are theories, but we like to see proof right?

One truth about sarsaparilla is that it can treat skin disorders such as psoriasis, which is a hardening of the skin. In a study in “Jamla Dermatology” 27 people with this skin disorder took tables with this herb for 1 to 9 months. 7 people’s condition was greatly improved, 8 moderately improved, 2 slightly improved, 9 received no benefits and 1 person was irritated by the medicine. Also 2 people noticed mild nausea.

It works because it has blood cleansing abilities, this plant can bind to something called endotoxins and remove them, which people with psoriasis have. Another benefit is that it can clean the liver and other organs because these endotoxins cause stress to them.

This herb can also help with syphilis with its anti-bacterial abilities. Clinical studies in China show that it was effective (according to blood tests) in 90% of acute cases and 50% of chronic cases.

It can fight cancer. The United states Library of Medicine shows it to have anti-cancer effects.

It can also help with inflammation and it can help with arthritis. In laboratory rats artificially-induced arthritis was blocked in rats that were given this herb. The bad news is that no human studies have been conducted, but if it reduces inflammation it can help because the reason for pain with arthritis is inflammation.

In fact chronic inflammation is major cause of age related problems. Anything that reduces it is very good. When it comes to dangers the taking a high dose that can give someone stomach pains, diarrhea as well as nausea.

The next time you see this ingredient sarsaparilla in a tea or in a supplement you will know what it does.

Click on the link below for a free video guide to dietary supplements and alternative medicine!

Vitamin D Deficiency Can Be Serious

Sunlight is the body’s main supply of Vitamin D which is necessary for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is in almost every tissue so it is important for the health of the whole body. However, 50% of people over 50 have low levels of this vitamin which is not present in many of our foods. Studies have shown that a lack of it can lead to diabetes, depression, heart disease, hip fractures, muscle spasm and multiple sclerosis.

If we don’t get enough Vitamin D our cells can multiply too fast and grow to become malignant tumours increasing risk of breast, colon, prostate, ovary, oesophagus and lymphatic cancers. Lack of vitamin D can also interfere with insulin secretion so it could affect diabetes sufferers It was found in ‘Archives of General Psychiatry’ that deficiencies lead to depression because it affects the tiny parathyroid glands behind the thyroid and they become overactive producing to much of a hormone which is often associated with depression.

Other studies at Emory University show a link with Parkinson’s with patients having more than twice the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood. Whilst another study showed that lack of Vitamin D could lead to hip fractures in post-menopausal women due to a deficiency making it harder to absorb calcium and maintaining bone density as well as keeping the muscles strong. It is also believed to play a role in MS, muscle pains and even some types of kidney disease. Studies show the older you get the more you need.

As important it is to get some sun, we still need to cover up and limit sun exposure of 15 to 20 minutes on unprotected skin, at least twice a week is a good idea. You can check if you are deficient in Vitamin D through a blood test just like we test for cholesterol or glucose.

Food wise best sources are salmon, mackerel, eggs, cod liver oil, and milk or dairy foods but avoid dairy if you have sinus or susceptibility to colds and flu. Supplements are also available to help you get Vitamin D into the body and are available at the health food store but this is not as good as a dose of good old sunshine.

Many scientists believe too much sun will cause skin cancer but Marianne Berwick, head of the Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention Program at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque says that: “Sunscreen is probably effective against a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, but there’s little evidence that it prevents another type called basal cell carcinoma.” There are no data showing that sunscreen protects against malignant melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

There are tests being done on how good sunscreen protects against ultraviolet light UVA and UVB, however to be safe I would limit your time in the sun and still wear protective clothing. Also confine yourself to early morning or late afternoon sun. Generally, try to balance your sun exposure and you should do alright.

Warning Signs & Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors

Hormones produced by the pituitary gland control functioning of many other glands within the body. Hormones which are produced by the pituitary gland include prolactin, adrenocoticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone & luteinizing hormone (LH). Having certain genetic conditions is generally found to increase risk of developing tumors. Whatever is found to increase risk of developing a medical condition is known as a risk factor. However, having a certain risk factor does not mean that a person will develop cancer. Patients must therefore talk to neurologists in case they think they are at risk of developing brain tumors. Risk factors for developing pituitary tumors include the following hereditary diseases.

· Carney Complex

· Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 1 (MENI 1) Syndrome

· Isolated Familial Acromegaly

Signs & Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors

Signs & symptoms of pituitary tumors normally include problems with vision & certain physical changes. These can be caused either by growth of tumor or by hormones which the pituitary adenoma is making or with other types of conditions. Moreover, some pituitary tumors may cause no signs or symptoms at all. However, people must check with their doctors in case they are having any of these problems.

· Signs & Symptoms of Non-Functioning Pituitary Tumors

There are cases where tumors are found to be pressing or even damaging parts of pituitary gland & thereby causing the gland to stop producing one of more hormones. Lesser quantity of a certain hormone will eventually affect the working of gland or hormone over which the hormone exerts control. In these situations the following signs & symptoms may occur.

o Headache

o Loss of body hair

o Partial loss of vision

o Less frequent or no menstrual periods or no milk from breasts in some women

o Lower sex drive in both men & women

o Loss of facial hair in men along with growth of breast tissue & impotence

o Slow growth & sexual development in children

Most types of pituitary adenoma which make FSH & LH generally do not make enough extra hormones so as to cause any signs & symptoms. These tumors are therefore considered as non-functioning tumors.

· Signs & Symptoms of Functioning Pituitary Tumors

Signs & symptoms will eventually depend upon the type of hormone which is produced when functioning tumors are making extra hormones.

Too Much of Prolactin Can Cause the Following

o Headache

o Part loss of vision

o Less frequent or absence of menstrual periods or very light flow during menstrual periods

o Inability or trouble becoming pregnant

o Lower sex drive

o Impotence in men

o Breast milk flow in women who are neither pregnant or breast-feeding

Too Much ACTH May Cause the Following

o Headache

o Part loss of vision

o Lump of fat on the back of neck

o Weight gain in face, neck & trunk of the body along with thin arms & legs

o Growth of fine hair on face, upper back or arms

o Easy bruising

o Skin may have pink or purple stretch marks on chest or abdomen

o Anxiety, depression & irritability

o Bones which break easily

Too Much of Growth Hormone May Cause the Following

o Headache

o Part loss of vision

o Acromegaly – Growth of bones in face, hands & feet in adults

o Acromegaly – Whole body may grow larger or taller in children

o Sweating more than normal

o Joint pain

o Pauses or snoring in breathing during sleep

o Numbness or tingling in fingers & hands

o Dysmorphophobia – Extreme dislike or obsessive concern about one or more parts of the body

Too Much Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone May Cause the Following

o Irregular heartbeat

o Weight loss

o Shakiness

o Trouble sleeping

o Sweating

o Frequent bowel movements

Other General Signs & Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors

o Seizures

o Dizziness

o Confusion

o Nausea & vomiting

o Drippy or running nose concerning cerebrospinal & spinal cord leaks